Morane-Saulnier M.S.760 Paris
|LIAISON AIRCRAFT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Morane-Saulnier|
In January 1953 Morane-Saulnier flew the prototype M.S.755 Fleuret, a two-seat jet trainer which competed with the Fouga Magister for an air force order. The Fleuret lost the competition, but its design formed the basis of the Morane-Saulnier M.S.760 Paris which, designed primarily as a high-speed liaison aircraft, can be considered as a forerunner of the executive jet. The first prototype was flown on 29 July 1954, and interest shown by the French military authorities resulted in orders for the air force and navy, the initial production example designated M.S.760A, flying on 27 February 1958. Orders were received for 109 civil and military use, 36 sets of components being supplied to Argentina for assembly at the government factory in Cordoba, with Brazil acquiring 30 for liaison, photographic survey and training. The initial production version was superseded in 1961 by the M.S.760B Paris II with 480kg thrust Marbore VI turbojets, and when production ended in 1964 a total of 156 aircraft of the two series had been built, including those assembled in Argentina. The final version was the 1963 Marbore VI-powered M.S.760C Paris III, with an enlarged wing but without tip tanks, plus increased fuel in a redesigned fuselage accommodating five or six 'sat-down' passengers. The sole prototype flew for the first time on 28 February 1964 but the variant did not find favour as a business jet and proceeded no further. With the youngest airframe now nearly 30 years old, the Paris is due for replacement. Argentina, with 40 plus aircraft still in service, has selected the FMA Pampa jet trainer, while France, currently operating more than 50, has chosen the TBM700 turboprop.